VAPA Dean’s Dish – 10th Edition

Greetings students, faculty, staff, and friends of the Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts Division at Cabrillo College!

It’s been quite some time since the last edition of Dean’s Dish, largely because your dean has been as busy as our faculty and staff in operating and promoting Cabrillo College’s VAPA Division, one of the most impactful arts institutions in Santa Cruz County. The VAPA Division takes great pride in being at the forefront of creativity education in one of the most creative communities in the country. Our Division is clearly one of the main reasons why Santa Cruz is the 5th most artistically active community in the nation, per capita, after LA, New York, San Francisco, and Santa Fe (2010 US Census Data), and why non-profit arts organizations in Santa Cruz County, including the VAPA Division, generate $38M in direct and indirect economic activity per year in our county! (Americans for the Arts Economic Prosperity Report just released)

So, read on, and stay up to date on what’s happening in VAPA!

All the best!

John Graulty

Dean of VAPA

Student Success alive and well in VAPA!

Don’t miss DM video student Dave DeGive’s award-winning film TODAY at 2:30 at the Watsonville Film Festival, Mello Center

 9 Cabrillo Dance Students Traveled to Arizona State University this past week to participate in the American College Dance Festival Association’s Western Region Conference. Thanks to David King, Dance Faculty Program Chair, for leading this effort and for helping the students raise over $2,500 to fund their trip! Talk about initiative…and great student learning!

I had the distinct pleasure to hear Il Dolce Suono, Cabrillo’s outstanding student-led vocal ensemble club, sing to a packed house in Santa Barbara and receive a standing ovation after being selected to perform at the American Choral Directors’ Association Western Division Conference on February 22. Congratulations to Il Dolce, and their stellar faculty adviser, Cheryl Anderson! Bravissimo! Cheryl and the students also manned a Cabrillo College promotional booth at the Conference doing what the arts do so well: place a public face on an institution! Congrats…and thank you!

Faculty Success

Of course, behind every student success is faculty success, and there are always too many faculty success stories to tell for a faculty like VAPA’s that remains so incredibly active as professional artists in their own right so that they are able to remain cutting edge in their field and bring their very best artistry to their teaching, but there’s  one especially worth noting recently:

Cynthia Siegel, outstanding adjunct ceramics instructor, has just been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study and work in India this coming year! Congratulations to Cynthia, the latest VAPA faculty member to be awarded a Fulbright!! We will miss her next year, but we look forward to the gifts she will bring back to Cabrillo and our students as a result of this life-changing experience.

Arts Entrepreneurship alive and well at Cabrillo!

Cabrillo continues to be a leader in promoting arts entrepreneurship on campus and in the Santa Cruz community. The student-project based, grant-funded pilot version of BUS-88 for VAPA students, taught by Ray Kaupp, is proving to be a rich experience for VAPA students…and our community!  A recent class guest speaker panel called “Getting Your Art Out There” was opened up to the public, and 20 community members joined in!

At the latest “Business of Art” seminar, a collaboration between Extension, VAPA, the Arts Council, and the Small Business Development Center, 28 local artists came to get entrepreneurship training they missed in their college experience. One attendee wants to know when we’re offering our next arts entrepreneurship credit class!

VAPA reaches out and serves our community!

This past fall, VAPA-produced events attracted the highest number of patrons to our performing arts events in the last three consecutive semesters — over 5,500!  526 of these were Cabrillo students — also a new record — who took advantage of the new, even deeper SAC card discounts! These totals don’t include gallery attendees, Cabrillo Stage, or the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival. When these patrons are added in, VAPA arts events attract well over 35,000 patrons per year to our campus!

The 28th Annual Santa Cruz Jazz Festival, a two-day event hosted by Cabrillo College, is in full swing, attracting nearly 4,000 high school jazz musicians, patrons, and world-class jazz clinicians — including our own world-famous faculty — to campus ! Last night, a capacity crowd in Crocker Theatre, thanks to 60 extra pit seats being added by Poco Marshall and Ian Rusconi, enjoyed world-class trumpet guest artist Bobby Shew backed up by Jon Nordgren and the outstanding Cabrillo College Jazz Ensemble. What a show! A special thanks to Jon and music instructor Mark Bidelman, who work so hard to bring this event to Cabrillo every year! And, it takes a village —  special thanks to custodial staff under the leadership of Thomas Wyner for ensuring that our facility remained looking great through the entire event!

The ASCC grant-funded “Big Picture” Photo Lecture Series, free and open to the public, drew a capacity crowd for its first of four lectures this spring in VAPA 1001 on February 20. Shmuel Thaler, world-renowned photographer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, shared his work and story with a crowd of 120+. Be sure to catch the next lecture March 20, at 6pm, in VAPA 1001, featuring RR Jones.

A pilot project supported by President Laurel Jones called “Conversations with Creative Heroes” with Wallace Baine from The Santa Cruz Sentinel, kicks off in the Samper Recital Hall at 7:30pm on March 29. The first guest to be interviewed in what we hope will be a self-sustaining series of public conversations in which Cabrillo helps celebrate regional creative heroes of all types is James Durbin, the young local singer/song writer who has made it big following his successes on American Idol. Tickets available at the Cabrillo Box Office and online:

On April 23, VAPA will host, for the second time, professional development workshops for Santa Cruz County Arts Specialists (county arts teachers) on our campus. Last year’s workshops attracted 35 county arts teachers from all fields. These workshops allow Cabrillo faculty to interface with pre-college arts teachers in the county to share tricks of the trade and ways in which we can all help students learn better on the K-16 continuum.

VAPA in the news!

Santa Cruz Sentinel 03/10/2014


Kudos to Cabrillo Stage for LUNCH

Congrats to Jon Nordgren and his staff at Cabrillo Stage for their courage and bold vision in presenting the new musical, LUNCH. Indeed, treating audiences to new works of art is a tremendous financial gamble. Critics, far too often, refrain from wrapping their praise around the unknown. Though past Cabrillo Stage classics have always entertained, LUNCH provided much more. As I sat in the audience absorbing each line of dialogue, laughing at
the gestures and comedic timing of the actors, embracing their powerful voices and the beautiful notes of the musicians I realized I was truly feeling the power of art. As the ancient Greeks believed, Drama is a tool to promote a
catharsis. Theater can transcend, purge our emotions, entice empathy, create healing, and foster connections.
Thank you to the authors of LUNCH and Jon for taking risks and providing a catharsis for usall.

Upcoming VAPA Events

Seahawk Metal Arts Club (SMAC!) presents…



Cabrillo Gallery presents
Bridging Santa Cruz County: Spanning 50 Years of Printmaking

March 3 – April 11

Reception: Saturday, March 1, 5:30-7:00 pm
Cabrillo Gallery
> more details

Cabrillo Music Department hosts
The Santa Cruz Jazz Festival

Friday, March 14
8:00 am to 10:00 pm

Saturday, March 15
8:00 am to 10:00 pm Guest Artist Concert
Cabrillo’s Visual & Performing Arts Complex
> more details

The Business of Art: Seminar Series
From Passion to Profitability

March 7, April 11, May 2, May 30
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
VAPA Lecture Hall, Room 1001
> more details

ZOFO Piano Duet

Friday, March 21
8:00 pm
Cabrillo Samper Recital Hall
> more details

Aimee Golant
Art for Prayer and Peace: A Bridge to Oneness

Friday, March 21
VAPA room 3004
> more details

Christian Youth Theatre Santa Cruz presents
The Sound of Music

March 22 – 30
Saturday March 22, 3:00 pm
Sunday March 23, 3:00 pm
Friday March 28, 7:00 pm
Saturday March 29, 3:00 pm
Sunday March 30, 3:00 pm
Cabrillo College Crocker Theather
> more details

The Picasso Ensemble @ Cabrillo College

Sunday, March 23
3:00 pm
Sesnon House
> more details

Cabrillo Youth Strings/String Orchestras Concert

Friday, March 28
7:00 PM
Cabrillo Samper Recital Hall
> more details

James Durbin in Conversations with Creative Heroes

Saturday, March 29
7:30 PM
Cabrillo Samper Recital Hall
> more details